This week is set to be very exciting in theatreland! Tomorrow evening (Tuesday 18th February 2014) the legendary Marti Webb returns to the West End with the original production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black’s musical Tell Me On a Sunday. The one-woman show transfers to the Duchess Theatre following a sell-out week of performances at the St. James Theatre last month.
Tell Me On A Sunday was originally released as an album in 1980 reaching #1 in the UK album charts whilst the single ‘Take That Look Off Your Face’ reached #2 in the UK singles charts. The show was first staged in 1982 starring Webb and has since been revived several times, but Robert Mackintosh (the younger brother of Sir Cameron Mackintosh) and Barry Satchwell Smith are bringing back the original production.
Martyn Ellis joins the West End production of Wicked tonight (Monday 17th February 2014) at the Apollo Victoria Theatre as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, replacing Sam Kelly who has withdrawn from the production due to ill health. He joins a stellar cast led by Willemijn Verkaik as Elphaba and Savannah Stevenson as Glinda.
Ellis recently starred as Harry Dangle in Nicholas Hytner’s production of One Man, Two Guvnors alongside James Cordon at the National Theatre, in the West End and on Broadway. His stage credits also include playing: Nicely Nicely Johnson alongside Ewan McGregor in Guys and Dolls, Thenardier in Les Misérables and Pumbaa in the original West End cast of The Lion King.
Two high profile shows begin previews this week. Firstly a new play version of the 1997 film The Full Monty begins previews at the Noel Coward Theatre on Thursday (20th February 2014) ahead of an official opening night on Tuesday 25th February 2014. The production transfers to the West End following last year’s critically acclaimed, sold-out run at Sheffield’s Lyceum Theatre which was followed by a UK Tour. The play has been adapted by Oscar-winning writer Simon Beaufoy from his own screenplay about a group of unemployed steel workers who form a troupe of male strippers.
The original cast are reprising their roles for the limited West End run until Saturday 14th June 2014. The full cast includes Kenny Doughty (Gaz), Craig Gazey (Lumper), Simon Rouse (Gerald), Keiran O'Brien (Guy), Roger Morlidge (Dave) and Sidney Cole (Horse). Completing the company are Scott Anson, Tracy Brabin, Caroline Carver, Eamonn Fleming, Elaine Glover, Rachel Lumberg and Ian Mercer.
Also beginning previews this week is Jamie Lloyd’s highly anticipated London premiere of Urinetown. The musical, which has music and lyrics by Mark Hollmann and book and lyrics by Greg Kotis, begins previews at the swanky St. James Theatre on Saturday (22nd February 2014) ahead of its official opening on Tuesday 11th March 2014.
Theatre fans have been waiting for the production to transfer to London for years, following its successful run on Broadway between 2001 and 2004. The Broadway production opened to critical acclaim and received ten Tony Award nominations. The show won Tony Awards for Best Book, Best Score and Best Direction. The incredible cast is led by Richard Fleeshman, Jenna Russell and Marc Elliot.
The hilarious Eric and Little Ern enters its final weeks at the Vaudeville Theatre, where it has run alongside The Duck House with a performance schedule dominated by matinees and Sunday performances for the past few months, whilst Strangers On A Train and Dirty Dancing bid farewell to the West End this weekend (22nd and 23rd February 2014 respectively).
Photo credit: Mike Eddowes